European Speakers of Other Languages:
Teaching Adult Immigrants and Training their Teachers (EU-Speak 3)
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Adult immigrants require literacy and numeracy in the language of the community to participate in the economic and social life of that community. While many post-industrialized countries fund programmes to actively support the development of immigrants’ basic and more advanced literacy skills, in most of these countries, there is no specific training and development for teachers who work with the population of adults immigrants with little or no home language formal schooling nor are specialist qualifications required. There are considerable commonalities among non-low-educated adults who immigrate to various post-industrialized countries: they overwhelmingly come from the same trouble spots, in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Rather than wait for governments to provide funding for such measures, the EU-Speak projects are taking advantage of an existing international network of experts to devise such training and development. It is therefore appropriate that the problem of problem of teachers’ insufficient specialist knowledge and skills be tackled at a supra-EU and supranational level. At the same time, differences in the recipient country’s culture, language and written form require individualised approaches. Through international-level teacher training and development, these cross-cultural and cross-linguistic differences can generate stimulating and lively discussion among participating teachers.
The network established via the Low-educated Second Language and Literacy forum and during EU-Speak-1 and EU-Speak 2 places the EU-Speak-3 network in the secure position of taking the next step towards making full specialist international teacher training and development a reality. Building on results from the EU-Speak-1 partnership project (2010-2012) and the EU-Speak 2 multilateral project (2014-2015), EU-Speak 3 takes the set of teacher knowledge and skills agreed on by teachers, managers and experts and the example of a successfully piloted module, which used Moodle open source software as a platform, to create a suite of six specialist on-line training and development modules.
Project partners with relevant expertise are each responsible for a module: Cologne for vocabulary acquisition; Jyvaskyla for language and literacy in their social context; Granada for reading development from a psycholinguistic perspective, Newcastle for acquisition and assessment of morphosyntax and Bogazici for bilingualism/multilingualism. Northumbria is responsible for all aspects of human-technology interaction, for the on-line module participants and for innovative teaching techniques. Partners will collaborate on piloting each on-line module them twice, in each partner’s language (English, Finnish, German, Spanish and Turkish) with participating teachers from the range of countries in which these languages are spoken. Each module will impart knowledge which the majority of such teachers currently lack and the module will support teachers’ action research and critical reflection on their practice relating to module content. Doing so at an international level will embed the habit of sharing of ideas across languages and countries thereby expanding what the wider network of teachers and researchers is coming to know about how best to teach non-/low-educated adult immigrants. The suite of modules will be supported through an edited volume with chapters dedicated to each topic the module covers. The book will be translated into the partner languages. The on-line modules will be sustained through open-access, initially and most likely in perpetuity via the LESLLA website www.leslla.org
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